Author Archives: Doug01

Advocates will rally for new state energy policy on Tuesday May 24 in Springfield. For more information go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rally-day-vote-yes-on-ngep-registration-25491912998

ICEC Supports Next Generation Energy Plan

May 11th, 2016 | Posted by Doug01 in announcements | news - (2,016 Comments)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Doug O’Brien 312-363-8447
Illinois Clean Energy Coalition supports Next Generation Energy Plan as a strong step towards a low carbon future
Plan will keep carbon-free nuclear competitive, increase energy efficiency and boost solar development

May 9, 2016—The Illinois Clean Energy Coalition (ICEC) applauds new legislation introduced in the Illinois General Assembly that will strengthen the state’s position as the top producer of carbon-free energy in the United States.
“While the Next Generation Energy Plan has significant economic benefits for Illinois, it is the environmental benefits that represent the most positive elements of the plan,” said ICEC Executive Director Doug O’Brien. “Placing appropriate emphasis on the carbon-free generation of nuclear, growing the solar component and enhancing energy efficiency represents a multi-faceted and balanced approach to our energy future,” he added.
A 2014 study by the ICEC (Link here) showed that the electricity generated by Illinois’ nuclear fleet prevented over 90 million tons of CO2 emissions annually—the equivalent of the CO2 pollution generated by all of the passenger cars in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin, combined. Nuclear, which generates nearly half of Illinois electricity output, represents over 90% of the state’s carbon-free generation, helping rank the state first in total carbon-free electricity generation.
The operator of Illinois’ nuclear power plants has announced it will close at least two of its plants in Illinois if the state fails to appropriately recognize the environmental and economic value of nuclear. The result would be the loss of millions of megawatt hours of carbon-free electricity forcing an increased dependency on fossil fuel generation. The plants at risk of closure are currently licensed to operate for up to 20 more years.
“If just one nuclear plant is shuttered renewables unfortunately cannot fill the gap. The electricity will be replaced by fossil fuel generation and greatly increase our carbon footprint, making it nearly impossible for the state to meet pollution reduction goals,” said O’Brien.
The Next Generation Energy Plan has strong bipartisan support as well as strong support from labor and low-income and community advocacy groups and represents a broad based approach to complex energy issues.
“The debate about energy policy is multi-faceted, but we must always be mindful of the need to make progress towards carbon reduction and sustainability,” O’Brien said. “By its very name, the Next Generation Energy Plan is looking forward to a more environmentally sound future.”
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The Illinois Clean Energy Coalition, launched in 2012, is a group of business leaders, policy experts, local officials and interested citizens who support the common-sense pursuit of a cleaner environment and a reliable, safe and cost-effective energy market. Learn more at www.ilcleanenergy.org
For more information visit www.ilcleanenergy.org

ICEC Op Ed touts carbon-free benefit of nuclear

April 11th, 2016 | Posted by Doug01 in news - (1,078 Comments)

Reminding Illinois residents of the carbon-free benefit of nuclear compared to proposed new gas-fired plants http://www.morrisherald-news.com/2016/03/07/letter-we-need-to-reduce-carbon-emissions/aqomoxx/

Wisconsin now open to development of new nuclear power generation thanks to new bill. http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/state-and-regional/gov-scott-walker-to-sign-bill-ending-nuclear-moratorium/article_6e7faeff-35a0-5606-a351-dc798c506fb9.html

The same pressures that threaten Illinois nuclear plants is forcing the closure of a NY plant and will cost the local economy $500 million: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/10/closing_fitzpatrick_nuke_plant_could_cost_cny_economy_500m_a_year.html

ICEC op ed on energy reform

September 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Doug01 in news - (1,289 Comments)

Nuclear positions Illinois to aggressively pursue energy reform http://www.rrstar.com/article/20150919/OPINION/150919538/14261/OPINION?rssfeed=true#loadComment

Rep. Kinzinger, ICEC talk nuclear at Braidwood forum

August 6th, 2015 | Posted by Doug01 in news - (107 Comments)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger and ICEC’s Doug O’Brien discuss nuclear energy policy at Congressional round table in Braidwood

A comprehensive analysis by Brattle Group show nuclear power nationally prevents 573 million tons of CO2 pollution annually.  Read the report at http://www.nuclearmatters.com/resources/reports-studies/value-of-nuclear.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        Contact: Doug O’Brien 312-363-8447

April 21, 2015.  Chicago, IL–The recent study paid for by the political opponents of the state’s nuclear industry is a simplistic attempt to distract from the fundamental structural problems in Illinois’ energy market and the need to preserve a competitive and carbon-free nuclear component.

The proposed Low Carbon Portfolio Standard seeks to fix a situation that subsidizes some forms of carbon-free generation but results in market conditions that unfairly penalize the largest carbon-free generator in Illinois—nuclear power.

For a group that claims to support reducing carbon pollution to help alleviate climate change, the BEST Coalition is recklessly fighting to increase carbon emissions.  The precedent is clear and unmistakable.  In Germany, where political pressure led to the closing of much of the country’s nuclear fleet, the resulting void in generation led to greatly increased reliance on coal and natural gas generation.  This led to a significant increase in Germany’s carbon footprint as well as a doubling of consumer energy rates.

Rather than proposing solutions, the BEST Coalition study seeks to exaggerate price impacts and ignores the costs consumers already pay for the various subsidies and rate support that serve to distort the existing market.  It also ignores the much bigger costs to consumers if Illinois loses thousands of jobs, tax revenues, and economic activity produced by nuclear power.  It also ignores the estimated $18 billion in social costs taxpayers would incur from the added pollution that would result from closing Illinois plants, according to the state EPA.

The Illinois Clean Energy Coalition supports the development of clean energy sources across the spectrum, but realizes that it is not possible or wise to sacrifice nuclear generation when other clean sources are nowhere near able to replace potential lost generation.

Replacing the millions of megawatts of nuclear generation potentially lost to misaligned policies would require an increase in wind and solar power that is simply not possible in the near term.  Instead, lost nuclear generation would result in increased dependence on fossil fuels and actually negate the supposed objective of the BEST Coalition.

Those who are truly committed to reduced emissions, a cleaner environment, and economic growth should strongly support preserving a robust and competitive nuclear industry in Illinois, rather than trying to divert attention with dubious statistics and ad hominem attacks that jeopardize the future of working families and Illinois communities.

The U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan will set final rules for reducing power plant carbon emissions this summer, and Illinois will need to prepare to comply. If the state were to lose its nuclear energy plants—or any existing low-carbon energy sources—it would make achieving the EPA goal nearly impossible.  Read the entire op-ed here.